Vikings Fans Crave One More Free Agent. This Guy.

Akiem Hicks
Aug 29, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (96) sits on the bench during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports.

On Monday, the Minnesota Vikings signed offensive guard Dalton Risner to a one-year deal after several weeks of will-they-or-won’t-they regarding Risner’s free agency.

Two days later, Minnesota fired off a trade involving late-round pick swaps in 2026 for Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers.

Vikings Fans Crave One More Free Agent. This Guy.

Minnesota believes the 2023 season is very much salvageable following an underwhelming, turnover-filled start at 0-2.

And in between the Risner and Akers acquisition, we asked Vikings-themed social media to name the next personnel target, and it responded rather emphatically — defensive lineman Akiem Hicks.

Crave One More
Sep 15, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Chicago Bears defensive tackle Nick Williams (97) celebrates his race with defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (96) in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

The 33-year-old former Pro Bowler remains a free agent and can sign anywhere in the league. Vikings fans want Minnesota as his next, perhaps final, destination.

We asked VikingsTwitter — VikingsX? — who the club should pursue after the Risner signing (but before the Akers trade), and the resounding response was Hicks, a former Chicago Bear.

The poll was unscientific, and 2,706 folks replied.

Sep 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks (96) reacts after sacking Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports.

Hicks joined the Buccaneers last year, his fourth NFL team, previously spending time with the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, and the aforementioned Bears. He’s produced 409 tackles, 115 QB hits, 75 tackles for loss, 41.5 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles in 11 NFL seasons. And as a free agent, Hicks is perhaps waiting to latch onto a contender for one or two final hurrahs. Whether the Vikings can morph into a contender after the 0-2 start remains to be seen.

Too, if Hicks sounds or looks familiar, it’s for good reason. The defender routinely terrorized Vikings quarterbacks and running backs during his Bears tenure from 2016 to 2021. Vikings fans would watch a Vikings-Bears game, Hicks would pound through Minnesota’s offensive trenches and wreak havoc. Such was life virtually anytime the teams met.

Jun 13, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (96) is interviewed during Veteran Minicamp at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports.

The one-time Pro Bowler fetched a 61.9 Pro Football Focus grade last season with Tampa Bay, starting and playing 11 games. It is unclear where Hicks would fit on the Vikings defensive line, but there would possibly be a demotion for Jonathan Bullard or Dean Lowry.

Minnesota was linked to Hicks in the shadows of 2022 free agency, and Bleacher Report suggested Hicks’ services for the Vikings 10 days ago.

Oct 6, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass as Raiders offensive tackle Denzelle Good (71) defends against Chicago Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (96) in the first quarter during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings rush defense ranks 28th leaguewide through two weeks per DVOA.

If general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah were interested in Hicks, he should be gettable for a couple of million bucks on a one-year deal at this point in the regular season.

Hicks will turn 34 in November.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by